According to at least one study, Facebook is dying. Princeton researchers John Cannarella and Joshua Spechler claim that Facebook will lose 80 percent of its users in the next three years. So what? At the least, it’s an indication that the tools we use to communicate within our society are constantly evolving and, in this digital age, at a dizzying rate.
Much has been written about the proposed federal shield law, the Free Flow of Information Act, by our president Dave Cuillier, by Lynn Walsh in the last issue of Quill, and by others. It’s not a perfect bill. An amendment by Sen.
Every reporter knows it’s both who you know and what you know that makes a good story. It’s no different in the freedom of information world when you’re trying to get access to public records, change legislation or just get into a meeting you’re pretty sure you should have access to.
Freedom of information is more than access to government records, although that’s a good start. FOI is also about access to the makers of those records, the elected officials and the countless civil servants it takes to run this country. The most important tool in your FOI toolbox — one heavily used in the early days of this nation but maybe gone rusty these days — is a healthy sense of skepticism.
Quick: What’s freedom of information? Going online to get free resources for your stories? Wikipedia? WikiLeaks? Actually, it’s none of the above. It’s the free flow of and access to information, particularly generated by government, in a free society. So why should it matter to you?